Leicester

Great Central Railway: Design chosen for £18m museum

GCR design Image copyright Wilkinson Eyre
Image caption The design means the existing station area would not have to be remodelled

The design for a new £18m heritage railway museum has been chosen following a public consultation.

If approved, the attraction will house locomotives from the National Railway Museum (NRM) and the Great Central Railway (GCR).

The winning design, by Wilkinson Eyre, will allow visitors arriving by train to GCR's Leicester North Station to see directly into the museum.

The heritage line spans both Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

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Image copyright Wilkinson Eyre
Image caption The design allows visitors using the Great Central Railway line to peer into the building

The choice of the design, one of six shortlisted, allows the GCR to retain its existing station building and platform, which volunteers had campaigned for, while allowing for future expansion, organisers have said.

It will also mean the project's budget can be concentrated on the exhibitions rather than remodelling the station area.

Image copyright Wilkinson Eyre
Image caption The museum is due to open in 2021

Paul Kirkman, director of the NRM, said the collection - including the Green Arrow, a V2 class steam locomotive - will sit within a building of "stunning visual presence".

Andy Munro, chief executive officer of GCR, said the museum would not only create a new tourist attraction for Leicester but contribute to its "ongoing regeneration".

Image copyright Great Central Railway
Image caption The line is already the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway

The museum, due to be built by 2021, is part of a wider project to reconnect two stretches of line between Leicester and Nottingham to create an unbroken 18 mile (23km) heritage route.

In 2015, the GCR received £10m towards the project from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It hopes to apply for planning permission in autumn 2017 and start building in 2018.

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